Big Blue's big weighting in the index could have an outsize impact.
Housing starts hit a 4-year high, cheering investors. But the Dow and Nasdaq muster only small gains because of weakness in IBM and Intel. Apollo shares sag on earnings warning. Nike ends ties with Lance Armstrong. Oil, gold move up.
If you aren't in 1 of these 3 areas, you are playing an earnings-and-macro game that rides more on luck than skill.
Construction of new homes climbed 15% in September. Big earnings are from IBM, BAC and PEP.
But IBM and Intel results disappoint. Goldman Sachs and Johnson & Johnson results cheer Wall Street. Citigroup's Vikram Pandit abruptly resigns as CEO after a board conflict. Consumer prices rise along with gas prices.
Apple initiated with 'neutral,' and Netflix downgraded to 'underperform.'
The company will struggle no matter how it's configured.
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As geopolitical tensions threaten to spin out of control, investors are wondering how best to position their portfolios for the global turmoil.
The Market Dispatches column has been discontinued. Here's where to find the latest stock and business news on MSN Money, and the latest from market writer Charley Blaine.
MONEY & POLITICS
Breaking up big banks is an untested solution to the too big to fail problem that attempts to isolate and dismantle large, troubled institutions while protecting the rest of the economy.
Occupy Wall Street bought and forgave the student loan debt of more than 2,700 Everest College students.
Six weeks later, most Americans have forgotten about the 2014 tax season -- except those who didn't file by the April 15 deadline.
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